Tags: Trump Administration | US | Senate | Joint Chiefs Chairman

Gen. Dunford Says Transgender Troops Should Be Allowed to Serve

Gen. Dunford Says Transgender Troops Should Be Allowed to Serve
Gen. Joseph Dunford testifies before the Senate Armed Services Committee on Tuesday. (Reuters)

Tuesday, 26 September 2017 12:32 PM

The nation's top military officer said Tuesday that his advice to President Donald Trump has been to allow transgender troops to continue serving in the U.S. military.

Marine Corps Gen. Joseph Dunford, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, told the Senate Armed Services Committee that "any individual who meets the physical and mental standards and is worldwide deployable and is currently serving should be afforded the opportunity to continue to serve."

"What I've just articulated is the advice I've provided in private and I've just provided in public," Dunford said.

Dunford's remarks come as Defense Secretary Jim Mattis formulates a policy on how to deal with transgendered members who are currently serving. Until the policy has been formulated, Mattis has said no one currently serving should be discharged strictly on the basis of their gender identity.

Dunford completes his first term at the end of September. The committee was holding his confirmation hearing with just days to spare to give him another tour of duty. Trump in May nominated Dunford to serve a second two-year term as chairman. He originally was picked for the job by President Barack Obama. Most chairmen serve two, two-year terms.

Dunford, a highly respected, combat-hardened commander, took over as chairman on Oct. 1, 2015, following just one year as commandant of the Marine Corps. Before that assignment, he led the Afghanistan war coalition during a key transitional period from February 2013 to August 2014.

He oversaw the ongoing drawdown of U.S. troops during his 18 months in Afghanistan as well as the shift to the Afghan military leading combat operations, the tumultuous Afghan elections that dragged on, and efforts to reach an agreement on the U.S. military's future presence in the country.

During his fast-tracked military career that began in 1977, Dunford jumped from a one-star general to four stars in about three years. He's steadfastly steered clear of politics and urged all U.S. troops to do the same.

Dunford, 61, is a Boston native who holds master's degrees in government from Georgetown University and international relations from Tufts University's Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy.

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The nation's top military officer said Tuesday that his advice to President Donald Trump has been to allow transgender troops to continue serving in the U.S. military. Marine Corps Gen. Joseph Dunford, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, told the Senate Armed Services...
US, Senate, Joint Chiefs Chairman
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2017-32-26
Tuesday, 26 September 2017 12:32 PM
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